|DATE||Wednesday 4th January 2017|
|VENUE||White Hart Lane|
2. Branislav IVANOVIC
3. Marcos ALONSO
4. Cesc FABREGAS
5. Kurt ZOUMA
7. N'Golo KANTE
10. Eden HAZARD
12. John Obi MIKEL
13. Thibaut COURTOIS
14. Ruben LOFTUS-CHEEK
15. Victor MOSES
19. Diego COSTA
21. Nemanja MATIC
23. Michy BATSHUAYI
24. Gary CAHILL
28. Cesar AZPILICUETA
29. Nathaniel CHALOBAH
30. David LUIZ
34. Ola AINA
41. Dominic SOLANKE
With Chelsea on a good run ad Spurs just starting to hit form, the
meeting at the Lane won't settle the title, but it could prevent one
side or another having a straightforward run at it. Antonio
Conte has transformed the team that was shaky at the start of the
season into a hard to beat outfit, who are able to grind out results
The change to three at the back has been hailed as a masterstroke, but it is more the selection of personnel that has changed the side. Making Fabregas a peripheral figure has given the team more drive in midfield, as he coasted through games and Hazard's decision to be bothered to play has shown where Mourinho went wrong last season. Terry rarely features and his ageing presence cast a grey shroud over the team, along with Ivanovic, who has been sidelined as he was making too many unforced errors. Marcos Alonso and Cesar Azpilicueta have taken the wing back roles and the former ex-Sunderland man has been a changed player. Cahill still has the mistake making ability he brings to the England team,
Kante has added a steely stopper in front of their back four, along with Matic, who is another player reborn under Conte, after having a season off. Moses has also added an outlet at right wing back and after a number of loans, he is finally getting in the Chelsea team, unlike 34 other players the Pensioners have loaned out this season !!
Pedro is an astute runner, both with and without the ball and Chalobah is being given the chance to have some first team action, now that Oscar has gone for the Chinese shilling. Willian is another player who is playing more like the one he was two seasons ago, but is not a regular starter these days. The big handful up front is Diego Costa, who plays like a bull in a china shop and it will take both Jan and Toby to be aware of each others position and for other Spurs men to be quick into the tackle on him. His unchallenged run down the left at Stamford Bridge led to their second goal and by getting in his face, he will become frustrated.
Behind them all Thibaut Courtois is having a good season and Spurs will need to be finishing as well as they have done the last few matches to put away any chances that come their way.
While we are playing very well at the moment, the way Chelsea operate will revert to their former tactics in bullying Spurs to firstly put them off their game and then to try and wind them up as they did at Stamford Bridge last season. It is a way of playing that has served them well and they won't be open and free flowing, as they know the closest they have come to losing recently was when we visited their place.
A narrow and unsatisfying
defeat will be the outcome I regret to say.
|PREDICTION||Tottenham Hotspur 1 Chelsea 2|
|LAST SEASON'S MEETING||For a look back at the match report, click here.|
|RESULTS HISTORY||Click here for results, match reports and facts on meetings with Chelsea|
HOTSPUR TEAM NEWS :
Erik Lamela (hip) is the only injury absentee for Tottenham.
CHELSEA TEAM NEWS :
Marcos Alonso (ankle) is Chelsea's only doubt for Wednesday's match.
available on BBC radio, it can supposedly be heard
in these countries on these stations ...
Wednesday 4th January 2017
White Hart Lane
Kick off 20:00
Dele 45m + 0m 45s
Dele 53m 37s
Wanyama (foul on Hazard) 40
Dele (celebrating goal) 45 + 1
Rose (foul on Azpilicueta) 87
Pedro (foul on Rose) 18
Cahill (foul on Eriksen) 38
|Crowd : 31,491||Weather : Cold|
|Referee : Martin Atkinson (West Yorkshire)||Assistant Referees : Mr. S. Child; Mr. G. Beswick|
|Fourth Official : Jon Moss|
|Spurs kicked off and played towards the Park Lane end in the first half.|
|Game time : - 90 + 6 minutes.|
|Tottenham Hotspur :||kit||Chelsea :||kit|
Hugo LLORIS (c)
5 Jan VERTONGHEN
4 Toby ALDERWEIRELD
15 Eric DIER
9 Harry KANE ( 7 Heung-Min SON 90+2)
19 Diego COSTA
|Manager : Mauricio Pochettino||Manager : Antonio Conte|
|Sponsor : AIA||Shirt sponsor : Yokohama Tyres|
|Kit Supplier : Under Armour||Kit Supplier : adidas|
With an assured performance, this game might not affect the outcome of the Premier League title come the end of the season, but the 2-0 win over 13 successive win Chelsea side was an impressive display of football and of tactical nous from Mauricio Pochettino that brought the Pensioners bandwagon to a grinding halt.
The side lined up in familiar formation, with three at the back - Dier, Alderweireld and Vertonghen - and Wanyama and Dembele sat in front of them. Eriksen, Rose, Walker and Dele made up our midfield attacking four and Harry Kane lead the line. Chelsea also played three at the back, with Moses coming in for the despicable Fabregas and that perhaps left the visitors a little unbalanced. While Moses offered an outlet on the right in the first game against them, the way Spurs lined up was different and generally prevented him getting forward and without the aggravating presence of the former Gooner - and with Costa being highly ineffectual, the expected niggly approach was left to others, who were unable to be as good at it as those mentioned.
The crowd were up for it tonight, realising that the game had assumed some importance with Chelsea going for the record of straight PL wins and being so far out front in the table.
When the game did start, Jan began pushing high up to close people down and this perhaps surprised Chelsea, especially when he popped up early in the Chelsea penalty area and put a cross over everyone on the stretch. Chelsea had an early chance when Hazard was put away on the left side and he hit an early left foot shot across Lloris, but it went wide on the far side. The way Spurs had started obviously got to the Pensioners, as a free-kick for a foul against Vertonghen saw Azpilicueta rush straight up to the moving ball and smash it at Jan while he was on the floor. It was an aggressive act and the Spurs defender could not do anything to get out of the way, but Atkinson took no action against the Chelsea defender.
Working the ball between the Spurs players in the last third, chances came, as the Chelsea players were unable to track back with the runs Tottenham were making. Dembele and Eriksen were the two engineering the moves, with Mousa strong on the ball and his turns left markers trailing, while Christian drifted around on the ball and played keen passes through their defence. It wasn't creating clear-cut chances, but was giving the Blues plenty to deal with. Using the wide men in Rose and Walker, Spurs were able to get into crossing positions, at least when Danny wasn't being clattered. Moses took him out twice, but it was Pedro, who got a yellow card for his second go at the little left-back. Just before that Kyle had a shot at goal, but digging his volley into the ground it flashed wide across a crowded goalmouth. From Tottenham's one corner in the game, Chelsea broke away, but a loose pass ended the move as it ran through to Hugo. An argument between Diego Costa and Pedro ensued over where a run should have been made and a pass delivered, which showed the disharmony in the side early on.
Halfway through the first half, Wanyama found himself in a shooting position and pulled it wide from outside the box and then Eriksen struck a shot that curled slightly away from goal and it had Courtois scrambling to get to it, but he couldn't have had it been on target instead of missing by inches. Chelsea managed an effort on target, when Luis struck a 30 yard free-kick, but it did not trouble Lloris, as it was straight at him. Without being provided with a lot of decent supply where he wants it, Harry Kane was battling away with Cahill and held the ball up very well. Many times, when a Spurs player broke from halfway, they would find themselves hauled back or leant into by Kante, who has perfected it without it looking like a foul.
Matic shot way over the bar when set up by Costa, then, when he blocked a pass from Cahill that put him away past the Chelsea captain, he was cynically dragged back. This produced a yellow card, but probably deserved more for the sheer gamesmanship of the foul. Spurs did well from the resulting free-kick, which Rose knocked to the far post, where Eric Dier headed back across goal only to see Courtois push it out before it got in front of goal. Wanyama rightly got a caution when his tackle got there just after Hazard has shifted the ball off to a team-mate, but the Belgian international was alright enough to put a low cross to the far post, where Danny Rose took no chances and knocked it out for a corner. They failed to make anything from it and they paid as the game entered added time at the end of the first half.
Kyle made a run down the right and played the ball inside to Eriksen, who picked out a perfect cross to the middle of the penalty area, where Dele rose and hung in the air to then loop a header precisely out of the reach of the corner, as it went back across him and into the top corner. It was about the time that Pedro scored in the game at Stamford Bridge and the crowd went mad. Not as mad as Dele, who got a booking for being so brazen in celebrating his goal. It was a goal that wasn't unmerited, as Spurs had enjoyed most of the half and while there had been few chances, Lloris had been under-employed during the first 45 minutes.
Graham Roberts' half-time interview showed he was more Spurs than Chelsea and got the crowd going and Spurs started at a good lick in the second half, but Costa had the first chance of the half, with a low shot to Hugo's right, but his full length dive and palm away was measured and he was never in trouble. They should have done better when a corner was cleared, but it came back in to Matic's head. He nodded the ball across goal and Hazard ran in to meet it with a header without having to leave the ground, but he put it wide, when he should have tested Lloris.
Almost immediately, Spurs sprang into attack, with Vertonghen passing to Christian, whose long range effort saw Courtois right behind it. The same couldn't be said after Tottenham's next attack following another Matic drive that threatened the corner flag. Walker broke down the right wing and when Alonso dived in, Kyle had to take evasive action, but had the presence of mind to lay the ball left to Eriksen. The Dane dinked a cross to the far post, where Alli rose and from a narrower angle, put a similar header back across the keeper for 2-0. Cue more celebrations, but Dele toned them down enough to avoid a second booking. Not so the crowd who had no such restrictions bounding their joy. The big screen replay even showed Courtois shying away as the header came at him !!
A response was expected from Chelsea, but it failed to come, as Wanyama in front of the back three, who all played their part in defending their goal with great determination. So many times they broke up Chelsea moves that were trying to be built down the middle. Jan almost set up Dele for another fantastic goal with a ball deep over the Chelsea back line and the midfielder almost delicately guided the ball over the keeper, but just beyond the far post.
Regularly Chelsea tried to hit passes behind the Spurs defence, but they put too much on the passes that either took them off the pitch or through to a Tottenham player. Pochettino showed his belief in Harry Winks by making him the first change coming on for Dembele and he sat alongside Wanyama, using the ball sensibly. Spurs continued to move the ball forward and after Dele was fouled, Eriksen shaped a free-kick over the wall, but a couple of feet wide. Alli got caught following through, as Matic's studs came down, leaving him to run through the pain as he showed dedication in closing down the blue shirts. The only late chance came Chelsea's way, with a corner came in from the right wing and Luiz rose to out a header way over the crossbar.
The final whistle saw Chelsea's run ended and Spurs continue on theirs. The players were rightly pleased with their efforts and the crowd let them know how proud they were with the performance. While too early to say this win showed a coming of age for the team, but they have learned a lot in a short period of time and turned around a 1-2 defeat just five weeks ago into a 2-0 victory. Lots of the radio chat show talk was about Tottenham now being in the title race, but there is still a long way to go. Let's celebrate the day and look forward to the side showing consistency over the next few months.
Chelsea didn't actually
exist before 2003.
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|Match programme sponsors||-|
|Match shirt sponsors||-|
|What you thought|
|Sid E Netting||At
last, we showed that we can play against a top side in a pressure
game. Chelsea were chasing shadows a lot of the time and their
snide fouling was an indication that they couldn't live with the
tempo and movement we were putting into our game. Eriksen and
Alli have both hit form at the same time and the back six looked so
sound that Costa was reduced to winding up his own players instead
of the opposition for a change.
Five straight wins, so only
another nine to go to take the Gooners' record !!
|Other scores during this week :|
|West Bromwich Albion||3||Hull City||1||Monday|
|West Ham United London||0||Manchester United||2||Monday|
|Crystal Palace||1||Swansea City||2||Tuesday|
|League Table 2016-17|
|8||West Bromwich Albion||20||8||5||7||28||24||29||+4|
|14||West Ham United London||20||6||4||10||23||35||22||-12|
Position before match : 5th
Position after match : 3rd
Position after the weekend : 3rd
* Pub facts may not actually be true, but after a few pints everyone will think so.
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